DAY 1: STRENGTH WITHOUT POWER
It is often very obvious who the stronger party is in any given situation. For example, when an unranked tennis player faces Novac Djokovic in the first round of Wimbledon, we have a good idea of who the winner will be. Or when a co-worker is treated unfairly by a power-hungry boss, we do not expect to enjoy many more tea breaks together with them. Sometimes you just cannot deny overpowering strength when you see it. Like the strength of King Amaziah’s army.
It was a no-brainer. King Amaziah’s 300000 troops together with the 100000 extra men he hired from Israel would easily crush the Edomites (2 Chronicles 25). The strength of Amaziah’s forces overpowered the enemy by far. But was there power in their strength?
Before King Amaziah could launch his attack, God sent a prophet to bring him an important truth about strength and power. “‘If you let them go with your troops into battle, you will be defeated by the enemy no matter how well you fight. God will overthrow you, for he has the power to help you or to trip you up’” (2 Chronicles 25:8, NLT). Human strength and God’s power do not work well together.
When we feel satisfied with our ability to manage our lives as Amaziah did, we block God’s power. God’s plans will still prevail (Proverbs 16:9), but we miss out on spectacular displays of divine power. God’s power works better without our strong attempts. “Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NLT).
Which area of your life seems to be well managed at the moment? Which of your strengths are you applying to be successful? Do you think that God’s power may bring even more spectacular results without them?
Let us allow God to show off his power in our lives. Let us not overestimate our strength as we manage our everyday lives. Paul’s words are true both ways around. “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10, NLT).
2 Chronicles 25:1-28
2 Corinthians 12:1-10